Heroin is an extremely addictive drug derived from the poppy, like other opiates such as morphine. Due to its nature as a painkiller, heroin can make people forget about their problems and feel more comfortable.
What else is it called?
junk, scag, brown, smack, H, brown, gear, Horse
What does it look like?
Pure heroin is a white powder, but owing to the range of substances it's cut with, street heroin can be anything from brownish white to brown.
Pale brown powder
What is its legal status?
- Class A - that means they’re illegal to have, give away or sell.
- Possession can get you up to seven years in jail.
- Supplying someone else, including your friends, can get you life and an unlimited fine.
How much does it cost?
Prices can vary from region to region, but it has an average price of £10 a bag (wrap). Feeding a heroin habit can cost up to £100 a day.
‘Wraps’ – one dose – cost from £10. This would last about 4 hours.
What equipment do people use to take it?
Heroin can either be smoked or dissolved in water and injected – and if it’s pure, it can also be snorted.
Silver foil (for smoking), syringes (for injecting), spoons, cigarette filters, wraps. Heroin users can also get safe injecting packs from drug addiction agencies, which include harm reduction equipment like clean syringes, citric acid sachets (which help dissolve heroin for injecting) and sharps boxes for safe disposal of used needles.
Injecting heroin – and sharing the equipment used for injecting, including needles or syringes – can be very risky, because it runs the risk of the person injecting catching or spreading a virus, such as HIV or hepatitis C.
What about dependence/addiction?
Heroin is extremely physically addictive, and the fact that it helps to block out problems makes it psychologically addictive too. Flu-like withdrawal symptoms can kick in within 24 hours.